Tamil parliamentarians been so directly and positively involved in the constitutional process in Sri Lanka, as they were in the passage of the 19th Amendment.
In fact, the accredited Tamil representatives chose to stay away from the constitutional process in 1947, 1972 and 1978, if only to make a political point of their boycotts. The TULF parliamentarians were not even in parliament when the 13th Amendment was enacted (they had been packed off to India by the Sixth Amendment).
In a transformative change involving good governance for the whole country, rather than the priorities of the Tamil question, the TNA parliamentarians contributed a great deal more than their votes to the final outcome of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Mr. MA Sumanthiran who won plaudits for his parliamentary performance opposing the now discredited 18th Amendment, was front and centre of the 19th Amendment process, offering his skills and expertise directly to the President to reach a final settlement. As if to anticipate and complement their 19A parliamentary experience, the TNA had earlier occasioned a hugely symbolic gesture by inviting the daughter of SWRD Bandaranaike, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, to deliver the 30th Chelvanayakam Memorial Lecture in Colombo. These experiences should augur well for making positive progress on the national reconciliation front………………. READ ALL
During the vote on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the only Parliament Member (MP) who voted against it is Sarath Weerasekara – former Rear Admiral, former Director General of the Civil Defence Force, former Deputy Minister of Labour and Labour Relations and current MP of Digamadulla. Weerasekera says he opposed the Amendment in Parliament as he felt there was a hidden agenda behind the entire process. He said that the Draft Bill was prepared in a manner which was intended to deprive the Sinhalese of getting into the role of the decision making process, and empower the minority communities above the majority Sinhalese. He also said that the country will be in anarchy in terms of its security, sovereignty and territorial integrity if the Amendment is implemented.
Following are excerpts of the interview:………………. READ MORE
The passing of the 19th Amendment to the constitution has been presented as a great achievement for President Sirisena and for Ranil Wickremesinghe. In reality whilst Sirisena may well claim some merit there is no gain in any shape of form for Ranil Wickremesinghe. Many of the proposals he put forward were abandoned because the Supreme Court interpreted the proposed amendments by saying that on a number of issues, there was a need for a referendum of the people……………….. READ MORE